Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Snow in The Hoot.

There's snow in Parry Sound. Not much, but enough that I wish I could be there. It's early to be reminiscing about Christmas, but I'm inspired. I spent my childhood Christmases with my grandparents there, and would absorb every minute detail of the winter light, the scent of the air, and the sky over the Bay.

My mother and I both grew up in Toronto - her parents didn't move to Parry Sound until the 1970s. Mom's childhood Christmases were green Toronto ones, and that's what she was nostalgic about. Mine, on the other hand, were almost always white Parry Sound Christmases, and I couldn't understand why a green and grey Christmas in swampy old Toronto would appeal to anyone.

We'd drive there on Christmas Eve, it seemed more often that not in a raging snowsquall. My mother would clutch the dashboard for dear life, constantly repeating, "Edward! Slow down!" My father would insist that everything was fine, that he was going slow. I would gawk out the back window blissfully, unstressed, soaking up every nuance of the swirling snow and looking for Christmas lights on little cottages in the twilight. When we got to my grandparents' house, I'd head straight for their big bay window and watch the snow in the glow of the streetlights.

After my grandfather died, we spent our first Christmas in Toronto in nineteen years. I thought I'd been shot.

I think I might take one of my few free days in December and spend a few hours up in "Parry Hoot", so named for being a great drinking town in the 19th century (not for its omnipresent train whistles as I was led to believe when I was a kidlet!), but only if the weather's clear.

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